I’ve been working on Glimpse for a little over two and a half years now. Helping the community and collaborating with brilliant developers worldwide is really rewarding. It’s certainly the biggest benefit of working on open source software.
There are plenty of other smaller perks though. One of my favorites is the availability of all types of free world class tooling and services that assist in the efforts of any given project. I use several of them, for instance:
- My salary is sponsored by Red Gate so that I can work on Glimpse full time.
- JetBrains improves our productivity and quality by providing ReSharper, TeamCity and dotCover to Glimpse.
- GlobalSign secures Signatory with a free wildcard SSL certificate.
When I think about all the sponsorships I’ve received, I start to feel a bit like this guy who is completely hooked up by companies who are willing to help him do what he does best:
I’m very thankful for all of the support I’ve received. Neither my projects nor I would be in the position we are in without the help. But here’s the secret: I’m not special. Licenses and freebees are available to most open source projects, you just have to know where to ask for them. Unfortunately, figuring that out can be intimidating, which is why I decided to launch ossPerks.com.
OSS Perks is a crowd sourced listing of all the products and services that are made freely available to open source projects. It started in public beta a few months ago with just a listing of the perks that I knew about. Since then the list has more than tripled via contributions from several different people and a Twitter account has been created so that developers can follow along as perks are added to the list.
The site is open source in and of itself, so you can easily add a new perk that you’ve found. I’m leveraging GitHub Pages and Jekyll to maintain the list so it’s very easy to contribute to directly from your browser by just editing our YAML file. (YAML is a plain text data format popular in the Ruby community, think of it as the offspring between INI file syntax and JSON.)
If you’d like to contribute but this all sounds a bit foreign to you, I’ve got a quick little tutorial right on the repositories readme file that should be able to get you up and running.
So go take a look at the available perks and take full advantage of the support offered to you for your open source projects. Trust me, it will make you feel like a world class athlete (or race car driver )!